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Cover image for Heart and soul : the story of America and African Americans
Title:
Heart and soul : the story of America and African Americans
ISBN:
9780061730740
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Balzer + Bray, c2011.
Physical Description:
108 p. : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Reading Level:
1050 L Lexile
Summary:
An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.
Holds:

Available:*

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Book J 973.0496 NEL 1 1
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Kadir Nelson's Heart and Soul is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and the recipient of five starred reviews.

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.

Told through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African-American female narrator, this inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice--the true heart and soul of our nation.

Supports the Common Core State Standards


Author Notes

Kadir Nelson began drawing at the age of three, and painting at age ten. He won an art scholarship to study at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating with honors, he began his professional career as an artist. He has worked with numerous companies including Dreamworks, where he served as the lead conceptual artist for Amistad and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Sports Illustrated; Coca-Cola; The United States Postal Service; and Major League Baseball. In 1999, he started collaborating with several notable authors on a series of picture books including Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen; Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange; and Salt in His Shoes by Deloris and Roslyn Jordan. He won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, a Caldecott Honor and an NAACP Image Award for illustrating Carol Boston Weatherford's Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. He is the author and illustrator of We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Publisher's Weekly Review

As in We Are the Ship, Nelson knits together the nation's proudest moments with its most shameful, taking on the whole of African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama. He handles this vast subject with easy grace, aided by the voice of a grandmotherly figure who's an amalgam of voices from Nelson's own family. She does not gloss over the sadness and outrage of her family's history, but her patient, sometimes weary tone ("The law didn't do a thing to stop it," she says about the Ku Klux Klan. "Shoot, some of the men wearing the sheets were lawmen") makes listeners feel the quiet power that survival requires. In jaw-dropping portraits that radiate determination and strength, Nelson paints heroes like Frederick Douglass and Joe Louis, conferring equal dignity on the slaves, workers, soldiers, and students who made up the backbone of the African-American community. The images convey strength and integrity as he recounts their contributions, including "the most important idea ever introduced to America by an African American"-Dr. King's nonviolent protest. A tremendous achievement. Ages 9-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

"Most folks my age and complexion don't speak much about the past," begins the unnamed narrator of this graceful and personalized overview of African American history. But this doesn't stop her from telling the story in a sweeping account that succinctly covers history from the Colonial era to the present day. The aged woman tells of her own grandfather, who was captured in Africa at age six and illegally sold into slavery in 1850. From Pap's story, we get a sense of what it was like to be a slave, a Union soldier, a sharecropper during Reconstruction, and a Buffalo soldier in Oklahoma; eventually he heads north to Chicago as part of the Great Migration. From there, the narrator takes over with her first-person account that includes the women's suffrage movement, the Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement, and ends with he pride she felt voting for President Obama. "As I cast my vote, I thought about my grandfather Pap, who didn't live to see this moment, and my three children and two brothers, who did." As in We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (rev. 5/08), Nelson effectively creates a voice that is at once singular and representative. Each page of text is accompanied by a magnificent oil painting, most of which are moving portraits -- some of famous figures such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, and Joe Louis; others of unnamed African Americans, such as a Revolutionary War soldier, a child cleaning cotton, and a factory worker. The illustrations (forty-seven in all, including six dramatic double-page spreads), combined with the narrative, give us a sense of intimacy, as if we are hearing an elder tell stories as we look at an album of family photographs. A tour de force in the career of an author/artist who continues to outdo himself. kathleen t. horning (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Nelson, the creator of We Are the Ship (2008), recipient of both a Coretta Scott King Author Award and a Robert F. Siebert Medal, adds to his notable titles with this powerful view of African American history. Illustrated with 44 full-page paintings, including both portraits and panoramic spreads, this handsome volume is told in the fictionalized, informal voice of an African American senior looking back on her life and remembering what her elders told her. The tone is intimate, even cozy, as the speaker addresses a contemporary honey chile and shares historical accounts that sometimes take a wry view of inequality: about a journey north, for example, she observes that Jim Crow has made the trip right along with us. Grim struggle is always present in her telling, though, and the passages include the horror of race riots, illustrated with a terrifying painting of a burning cross. With such a broad time frame, there is a lot to fit into a100 or so pages, but Nelson effectively captures the roles of ordinary people in landmark events ( We called ourselves the Freedom Riders ) while presenting famous leaders who changed the world, from Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks to Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and, finally, President Barack Obama. A detailed time line and a bibliography of books and DVDs closes this powerful, accessible history which will find wide circulation in both schools and public libraries.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

WHENEVER I see a book about historical aspects of African-American life, I'm very much aware of the "cringe" factor. As a child raised in Harlem I dreaded whenever a black person appeared in one of my schoolbooks. Not that blacks were portrayed as ugly or bad in any way, but they almost always appeared as helpless victims. As a black child hoping to fit into American history with my white classmates, I was always made uncomfortable by images of my people as "other." There is no such cringe factor in "Heart and Soul." This latest book by Kadir Nelson, a multiple Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King award winner, announces its ambition with its title. This is a grand and awe-inspiring survey of the black experience in America, delivered in 108 pages with lushly painted illustrations. Using the device of a fictional family narrative, Nelson relays this history in the voice of an elderly black woman, a voice both personal and friendly as it describes the treatment of the woman's family and of other African-Americans over the years. The images are typical Nelson, depicting his subjects with strength and dignity. His full-color portraits of Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman could grace any wall. And the book offers page after page of American history in a way that welcomes young readers to stand beside the historical figures and be part of their story. While Nelson touches on many elements of American history, this is a book that cries out for a teacher or parent to expand and deepen the experience. For example, he presents a painting of a black man sitting with what looks to be a Bible on his lap as his daughter, standing behind him, teaches him to read. It is one of the most powerful images in the book, rendered beautifully by a fine, fine artist. I would love the chance to offer a broader explanation of the amazing embrace of education by the newly freed blacks. One minor quibble: A few inaccurate time elements should have been caught by an editor - World War I didn't end "about a year" after the United States' official entry into the fray; it was more like 18 months. Frederick Dougiass's appearance as a slave doesn't quite fit the narrative's family timeline. But make no mistake. Nelson has created a very special book, and a more than welcome addition to both personal and public libraries. Walter Dean Myers is the author of more than 100 books for children. His latest is "We Are America: A Tribute From the Heart."


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-An unnamed narrator of a collection of family stories relates stirring accounts of relatives who fought by George Washington's side, worked in fields and factories, and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Electrifying portraits shed light on the triumphs and tragedies of our nation's history as reflected in the faces of its people. (Sept.) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

In an undertaking even more ambitious than the multiple-award-winning We Are the Ship (2008), Nelson tells the story of African-Americans and their often central place in American history.Directly after the prologue, the narrative begins with the U.S. Capitol, built by slaves and freeman before Nelson steps back and shows the intricate ways American and African-American history were intertwined from the earliest days of the country's founding. Using an unnamed female narrator, Nelson fashions a unique mode of storytelling that is both historical and personal. The narrator guides readers through major events in American history through the perspective of, first, enslaved people, then those legally free but hindered by discrimination and, finally, citizens able to fully participate in American life following the Civil Rights Movement. As with any work by this talented artist, the accompanying illustrations are bold and arresting. The dramatic oil paintings heighten the dignity of this story, whether they are of well-known historical figures, common folk or landscape. With such a long time period to cover, the careful choices Nelson makes of which stories to tell make this a successful effort. While there is little room for historical nuance, Nelson does include the way events such as World War I and the fight for woman suffrage affected the Black community.This intimate narrative makes the stories accessible to young readers and powerfully conveys how personal this history feels for many African-Americans. (Nonfiction. 10 up) ]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


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